"Sisters" documentary

There is a new documentary called “Sisters,” which follows 5 sisters as they reflect on their vocations and their ministries. It lasts for a bit less than an hour. Note: None of the sisters wear habits, but I found their stories very inspiring and their faith very real. I hope others find this of interest. It can be watched online at

Hi Nunsuch. I’ll admit I didn’t watch the video; I have watch several interviews in the last couple of years given by these sisters in response to the Doctrinal Assessment that was ordered against them from the Vatican. Their intentions, in my opinion, were voiced during their commentaries; intentions that I found troubling. Their refusal to don habits, as you noticed, are only the very tip of the iceberg. I don’t wish to diminish the good that they do, and have done in the past, but I would suggest caution in advocating them. The attached is an excerpt from the Vatican’s doctrinal assessment of this group:

The decision of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to undertake a
doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) was
communicated to the LCWR Presidency during their meeting with Cardinal William Levada
in Rome on April 8, 2008. At that meeting, three major areas of concern were given as
motivating the CDF’s decision to initiate the Assessment:

o Addresses at the LCWR Assemblies. Addresses given during LCWR annual
Assemblies manifest problematic statements and serious theological, even doctrinal
errors. The Cardinal offered as an example specific passages of Sr. Laurie Brink’s
address about some Religious “moving beyond the Church” or even beyond Jesus.
This is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a
serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life. Such unacceptable
positions routinely go unchallenged by the LCWR, which should provide resources for
member Congregations to foster an ecclesial vision of religious life, thus helping to
correct an erroneous vision of the Catholic faith as an important exercise of charity.
Some might see in Sr. Brink’s analysis a phenomenological snapshot of religious life
today. But Pastors of the Church should also see in it a cry for help.

o Policies of Corporate Dissent. The Cardinal spoke of this issue in reference to letters
the CDF received from “Leadership Teams” of various Congregations, among them
LCWR Officers, protesting the Holy See’s actions regarding the question of women’s
ordination and of a correct pastoral approach to ministry to homosexual persons, e.g.
letters about New Ways Ministry’s conferences. The terms of the letters suggest that
these sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching
on human sexuality. It is a serious matter when these Leadership Teams are not providing effective leadership and example to their communities, but place themselves
outside the Church’s teaching.

o Radical Feminism. The Cardinal noted a prevalence of certain radical feminist
themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some of the programs and presentations
sponsored by the LCWR, including theological interpretations that risk distorting faith
in Jesus and his loving Father who sent his Son for the salvation of the world.
Moreover, some commentaries on “patriarchy” distort the way in which Jesus has
structured sacramental life in the Church; others even undermine the revealed
doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the inspiration of Sacred

All of this may be true, but I repeat that I found the documentary powerful and moving. I wish you would give it a chance. Please note the rules at the top of this forum, that any religious congregation in union with the Vatican and the Pope is “orthodox,” and that certainly applies to the communities represented on this film. Peace.

I am glad that you found it powerful and moving and I hope it inspires you to do great things to build up the Body of Christ. I merely suggested that you exercise prudence and educated decision-making. I would consider public documents issued by the Vatican to be particularly orthodox; referring to a public letter issued by the CDF would not qualify as “rule breaking”. May God bless your journey.

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